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Copyright 2013 Capital Gazette Communications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

The Capital (Annapolis, MD)
August 28, 2013 Wednesday
B; Pg.3
762 words
Lacrosse symposium educates on recruiting
Gerry Jackson

A little of this and a little of that:

Each year dozens of lacrosse players from Anne Arundel County head off to college this time of year to pursue their athletic passions across the United States.

How those players get their is a complicated process -- a process that former Old Mill High School coach Steve Spence would like to make a little easier.

Navigating the recruiting process and choosing a college that's the right fit for a lacrosse player's skill and education level is no easy choice, especially with Division I, II and III options available.

Spence and his Rockfish Lacrosse Club are hosting a college lacrosse symposium on Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m., at Old Mill High School. The symposium will feature talks on the college recruiting process by Division I (Loyola's Charley Toomey and Maryland assistant Ryan Moran), Division II (St. Mary's Chris Hasbrouck) and Division III (Wingate's Michael Lawson) coaches.

"Kids have no clue about the recruiting process,'' said Spence, who coached for a decade at Old Mill following a playing career at Severna Park High and St. Mary's College. "They have an idea that playing Division I is more like a job, but they really don't have a good grasp on the differences between the divisions."

The symposium will walk athletes and parents through a series of 16 questions about recruiting that will be answered by the college coaches with Spence moderating the discussion. Following that portion, the coaches will be available for questions from the audience.

When Spence was playing, college coaches got a glimpse of him at his high school games and the Bilderback Festival. Those days are long gone. Coaches scouting players at prep games are a rarity these days. If a prep player want to be recruited, he better join a club team that plays during the summer and fall recruiting season or attend a college's summer camp.

Spence wants to make it clear he isn't pushing his club program at the symposium. He has a passion for high school lacrosse and wants to educate the next generation of players.

"We're putting this on for free and the college coaches are coming for free because they respect the game and want to educate the kids about the opportunities that are out there,'' said Spence, who says more than 100 are already signed up to attend.

"A lot of kids put all of their eggs in one basket and don't think to broaden their search,'' he said. "We want them to know all of the options available. What's it like to be a Division I, II or III athlete? How do you get noticed? Are recruiting programs and services important? Is it important to have highlight films? How important is it to be on a club team?"

Those are a just a few of the questions some of the nation's most respected coaches will be on hand to answer. Spence recommends the event for anyone in the eighth grade or older.

Admission to the symposium is free. Call 443-845-0992 for more details.

LAX LACROSSE: The county lost a huge lacrosse supporter and a fine athlete last week when Gwyneth "Winnie" Horrigan died at age 66.

She was the mother of Rob and John Horrigan, outstanding players at St. Mary's High and Towson University. Both Horrigan boys represented Wales at the Federation of International Lacrosse World Games in 1998 because their mother was of native of that country.

Rob Horrigan started the men's lacrosse programs at York College and Belmont-Abbey University.

Winnie Horrigan was an accomplished tennis player and golfer as a member of Chartwell Country Club. She served as a tennis coach for the Ulmstead community and recorded a hole-in-one four times during her golf career. She als was the women's singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles champion in tennis and women's club champion in golf at Chartwell Country Club all in the same year.

OVERBOARD: I had to do a double-take when editing a recent recreation announcement for one of our publications. A local baseball team was announcing that it was seeking players for a travel team to play a more than 40-game schedule that included several trips to tournaments. What floored me was that the notice was for a 10-and-under team.

Many college teams in this area don't play a 40-game schedule.

Just one more sign showing how out of a whack youth sports are getting. There's not much time for tooling around the neighborhood on your bike when you're playing the equivalent of a minor-league short season at the age of 10.

CRABBY OUTLOOK: You know the crabbing must be awful when you paddle past a typically crowded local pier on a beautiful August afternoon and there's not a chicken-necker to be seen.

August 28, 2013

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